…Demands prosecution of INEC chairman
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Sunday said the revelation of alleged electoral manipulations in the European Union, EU, report has further vindicated the party and millions of Nigerians, that the February 23 Presidential election was rigged to favour President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The party in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that the revelations of manipulations as detailed in the EU report further “validates queries by majority of Nigerians that President Buhari was not validly returned for a second term in office.”
The statement read: “The world can now see that the PDP has not been crying wolf in insisting that the election was outrightly rigged with the cancellation of millions of PDP votes, alteration of results and allocation of fictitious votes to the APC.
“Nigerians are still in shock over the revelations by EU of how about 2.8 million votes were deliberately ‘cancelled without sufficient accountability’ and how several returning officers gave no reason for the cancellations.
“More shocking is the iniquity committed at the national collation centre, headed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC chairman, where the EU report exposed inconsistent numbers, distortions and “a large discrepancy of ‘1.66 million more registered voters, as announced by INEC on 14 January, compared to those announced by state returning officers during the collation of presidential results.’
“Nigerians witnessed, on national television, how professors and returning officers were unable to reconcile result figures due to heavy manipulations upon which INEC declared the APC winner.”
The statement added that the EU report has further exposed “the iniquity committed by the Professor Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC by listing how ballot boxes were compromised, how essential materials were missing, how ‘voter register was not always ticked as required,’ and how ‘manual authentication procedures were not correctly followed.’
“The report also bared how figures on result forms did not reconcile, how result forms were not publicly posted, how ‘result forms and smart card readers were not packed in tamper-evident envelops as required,’ in addition to how the APC administration used security forces to intimidate voters, aid violence against our members and muscled votes for the APC.”
While commending the EU for what it called a demonstration of courage, the PDP added that “the report has further reinforced the confidence of millions of Nigerians in our collective expectation of justice in the quest to retrieve our stolen Presidential mandate at the tribunal.
“The PDP insists that those in INEC, who perpetrated such crime against our nation, in sabotaging the sanctity of our electoral processes to frustrate the choice of Nigerians in a Presidential election, must be brought to book and made to face the wrath of the law.”